Geisinger School of Medicine to create graduate school, receives $3.4M in HHS grants

Scranton, Pa.-based Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine plans to create a school for graduate education and several new programs of study, according to The Times-Tribune.

Officials aim to establish a School of Graduate Studies to house its existing graduate programs, including its biomedical sciences masters program.

The graduate school will also house three additional programs of study currently under development: informatics, genomics and population health. Officials said they hope to begin enrolling students in those programs as early as fall 2018. The school "may eventually offer PhD programs" as well, according to the report.

Venard Koerwer, EdD, vice president for strategy, planning and communication and vice dean for graduate studies for Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, told the Times-Tribune Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System's integration with Scranton, Pa.-based Commonwealth Medical College earlier this year provided the "perfect opportunity to establish the graduate school."

The news comes as the medical school received more than $3.4 million in grants from HHS, according to the Standard-Speaker.

Through the HHS Health Resources and Service Administration's Center for Excellence award program, the medical school will receive $684,768 this year and "similar amounts" each year for the next four years, according to the Standard-Speaker.

The goal of the funding is to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the workforce representative of the nation's population.

Geisinger officials said the funds will be used toward programs targeting underrepresented minority students to promote a more competitive pool of healthcare providers in the workforce and programs to increase and support the number of underrepresented minority faculty at the medical school, according to the report.

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and will update the article as more information becomes available.

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